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Hooray! Finally have a moment to settle back in from the epic month we just had!
Excuse moi for going AWOL during that period, first going overseas and then being KO-ed with this suspicious flu-like illness.
After the short post last week (here) to let everyone know we are still alive, here’s a longer version of what transpired on our trip.
People ask me why I am always heading back to Beijing? Is it the crisp, clean air? The generosity and agreeableness of the locals?
Well, er…not quite.
It’s because Beijing is my home town and a lot of my close relatives are there. In particular the elder generation who raised me through my toddling years as mom and pop were striking out on their own in Oz.
So call it a sense of piety but I think I’m doing the right thing to head back to see the grandparents (only 1 left), after all how many times would we have left with her?
Family, it’s what’s most important right.
MrsFrugalSamurai only joined for the last couple of days, so we didn’t have too much time together.
Oh, except eat and eat and eat!
But, I will say that prior to her arriving, I had one terrific day with my high school friend Auly Lee showing him around town.
Something about going drinking, and drinking some more. That’s all I can really remember to be honest…
Ah well, now here’s a place which I haven’t been in more than a decade.
And boy – it’s changed a LOT.
We arrived late in the evening and my very first impression of HK is how dystopian it appears.
I had just watched the original Blade Runner on the flight over and the dimly lit, narrow HK streets with a bit of light rain and bright neon lights… wow was that a trippy moment.
That aside, it’s actually a very cosmopolitan kinda place – everything opens late (we often dinner around midnight) and there is always people hustling and bustling.
Although I have to say, HK is perhaps not the place to be if your moniker is TheFrugalSamurai.
That’s cos right off the bat – I could see more Chanel stores than 7/11’s… Hong Kongers purchase more handbags than slurpees y’know.
And who needs a delicious, refreshing mango and watermelon special after a hard day trekking behind MrsFrugalSamurai in Zara anyway? Certainly not me.
No because on the penultimate day of our trip, we went to DISNEYLAND.
First time going to Disneyland and I must say, I was pretty impressed!
There were interactive Ant-man laser tag rides (loved em), Star Wars rollercoaster rides (hate em) and psychedelic slow-moving Winnie the Pooh rides (meh).
Unfortunately the rain didn’t leave us, which meant some of the rides were closed due to wet weather. It did drive the crowds away however.
But still Disneyland YES, tick that one off the bucket list.
Oh speaking of, special mention to a great catch-up to a couple of long-time no see friends PeeLiang and TimWoo, awesome to see you guys in HK!
Note: we caught up outside of Disneyland… it’d be somewhat unusual for 3 grown men who haven’t seen each other in years to meet up in Disneyland.
So awesome was our catch-up that my friend TimWoo couldn’t get enough of TheFrugalSamurai and accompanied us to Taipei (Taiwan capital) over the Easter Weekend.
Thanks again Tim!
Both him and MrsFrugalSamurai have been there before, but a virgin experience for yours truly.
And what can I say – it’s amazeballs!
Mainly because if your moniker is TheFrugalSamurai then yes Taipei IS the place.
They have street night markets (seafood, go for the seafood, value EVERYWHERE).
They have tourist attractions – temples, museums, hikes, nature, scenery, water, wind, fire, earth, heart… with your powers combined I am Captain Plan…ahem.
EVERYONE is extremely well-mannered, polite and helpful. From helping us choose the right mosquito repellent (bloodsucking mofos everywhere), to directions for some obscure beef noodle hole-in-wall-eatery, they’ll gladly lend a hand.
Taipei, I don’t think you’ve seen the last of TheFrugalSamurai yet!
Surely we will come back. Highly recommended.
Of course, the best part of travelling is the experiences and companionship – with old friends and new, from first-timers to old-hands, going overseas has something for everyone.
They say that travelling broadens the mind, I think it calms it to be honest. I can never understand those tourists who go to a different country and expect the same standards of their home country.
Something about being in a foreign place, without the pressure of life and really just immersing yourself in the local experience.
Bring on more adventure!
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P.S. I wanted to punch out SO many more words but this suspicious flu-like illness just won’t let me… sigh, might have to eat less poultry in Asia I s’pose.
Until next time!